Catherynne M. Valente, “Space Opera” (Saga Press, 2018)
The Eurovision Song Contest has launched careers (think ABBA and Celine Dion), inspired outrageous costumes, and generated spinoffs. The campy competition also led a fan to dare author Catherynne M. Valente on Twitter to create a science fictional Eurovision, resulting in the publication of Space Opera (Saga Press, 2018) two... Read More
Peng Shepherd, “The Book of M” (William Morrow, 2018)
The pandemic in Peng Shepherd’s debut novel, The Book of M, starts with magic—the disappearance of a man’s shadow. The occurrence, broadcast worldwide, is greeted with delight until more and more people lose their shadows. People start losing their memories as well—while gaining an ability to change the world with... Read More
Bina Shah, “Before She Sleeps” (Delphinium Books, 2018)
Bina Shah’s Before She Sleeps (Delphinium Books, 2018) is set in a near-future Pakistan where a repressive patriarchy requires women to take multiple husbands and become full-time baby makers after wars and disease render women devastatingly scarce. A reviewer in the Los Angeles Times called it a “thrilling novel” with “exquisite”... Read More
Alec Nevala-Lee, “Astounding” (Dey Street Books, 2018)
Alec Nevala-Lee’s Astounding (Dey Street Books, 2018) is the first comprehensive biography of John W. Campbell, who, as a writer and magazine editor, wielded enormous influence over the field of science fiction in the mid-20th century. “His interests, his obsessions, and his prejudices shaped what science fiction was going to be,” Nevala-Lee... Read More
Steven Shaviro, “Discognition” (Repeater Books, 2016)
Steven Shaviro’s book Discognition (Repeater Books, 2016) opens with a series of questions: What is consciousness? How does subjective experience occur? Which entities are conscious? What is it like to be a bat, or a dog, a robot, a tree, a human being, a rock, a star, a neutrino? Discognition... Read More
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